# The notes

In ABC notation, each note is represented by a single character, ranging from A to G. A not can also include accidental and duration information. The basic scheme is

``````[ACCIDENTAL][PITCH][DURATION]
``````

#### Pitch

Pitch is represented with a simple character. ABC music can range in four octaves; the most common ones are the central ones, represented with simple lowercase and uppercase letters:

``````C  D  E  F  G  A  B    (lower octave)
c  d  e  f  g  a  b   (higher octave)
``````

Two additional octaves can be represented with the `,` and `'` characters, so here’s the full range:

``````C, D, E, F, G, A, B,
C  D  E  F  G  A  B
c  d  e  f  g  a  b
c' d' e' f' g' a' b'
``````

#### Accidentals

Accidental symbols immediatley precede the note they alter.
ABC notation works pretty much like a normal score in this respect; notes are assumed to inherit the accidentals of the tune key. For example, with a `D` (`K: D` in the header), a `C` note is assumed to be a `C sharp`.
When a note doesn’t respect the key accidentals, accidentals must be indicated explicitly, just like in normal music notation. These are the symbols used:

``````_   (flat)
=   (natural)
^  (sharp)
``````

For example, here’s a simple score in the key of `D` with 3 notes: `D`, `C natural`, `E sharp`, `G flat`

``````X: 1
K: Dmaj
D =C ^E _G
``````

This is how it looks like in a score:

#### Duration

Duration is indicated with simple numbers, placed immediately after the notes. Any note without explicit duration is assumed to have the default duration, indicated in the `L:` field. If a number is present, the note duration is the multiple of this number and the default duration.

Here is an example with a quarter note, followed by a half note and and eigth note:

``````X: 1
K: Dmaj
L: 1/8
C2 C4 C
``````

When the `L:` field not present, a default duration of `1/8` is assumed.

This is the resulting score:

#### Putting it all together

Here’s an example featuring three notes:

``````X: 1
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
^D2 =C E4
``````

The notes are:

• a `1/4` D sharp
• a `1/8` C natural
• a `1/2` E

And here is a the corresponsing score:

And this is all about notes!